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Single cell transcriptome analysis using next generation sequencing.


Blattner,  Mirjam
Max Planck Society;

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Blattner, M. (2010). Single cell transcriptome analysis using next generation sequencing. Master Thesis, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-79F2-6
The heterogeneity of tissues, especially in cancer research, is a central issue in transcriptome analysis. In recent years, research has primarily focused on the development of methods for single cell analysis. Single cell analysis aims at gaining (novel) insights into biological processes of healthy and diseased cells. Some of the challenges in transcriptome analysis concern low abundance of sample starting material, necessary sample amplification steps and subsequent analysis. In this study, two fundamentally different approaches to amplification were compared using next-generation sequencing analysis: I. exponential amplification using polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) and II. linear amplification. For both approaches, protocols for single cell extraction, cell lysis, cDNA synthesis, cDNA amplification and preparation of next-generation sequencing libraries were developed. We could successfully show that transcriptome analysis of low numbers of cells is feasible with both exponential and linear amplification. Using exponential amplification, the highest amplification rates up to 106 were possible. The reproducibility of results is a strength of the linear amplification method. The analysis of next generation sequencing data in single cell samples showed detectable expression in at least 16.000 genes. The variance between samples results in a need to work with a greater amount of biological replicates. In summary it can be said that single cell transcriptome analysis with next generation sequencing is possible but improvements leading to a higher yield of transcriptome reads is required. In the near future by comparing single cancer cells with healthy ones for example, a basis for improved prognosis and diagnosis can be realised.